Living at the end of Psalm 13

I got an email from a dear friend in January. I had been voicing to her that though my internship had ended early that I was really okay and that God had a plan and that everything was going to work out the way it was supposed to. She had told me that she was glad I knew this, but also warned me to feel what I needed to feel–to handle the disappointment for what it was–disappointment.

It has taken me a couple months to get there.
A couple weeks ago, there was a particularly bad day at work. I work at a university making copies and running errands–basically gophering all over campus. My job can be rather mindless but is quite helpful with paying bills. A co-worker was recently promoted to another department and a lot of her responsibility has fallen to me. That paired with many other stressors and the ‘tude of a student (“Yes, you do have to pay for color copies. I’m sorry if the twenty cents this will cost will do you in.”) and everything that had been brewing in my heart came to a head. There were four distinct times I daydreamed of simply walking out the door.
It was, well, a Bad. Day.
I got into the car and began to drive home. And I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I began yelling at God, crying through it.
“Why am I here? What is the point of this season if nothing is happening? Why give me that internship just to take it away? What do you expect me to get from this? Why the hell aren’t you doing anything?”
I’ll be honest, that’s the clean version.
I was mad. I was heartbroken. I was disappointed.
And then, when I was all cried out, I felt Him.
You done?
I only nodded–if someone had seen me, they would have thought me a raving lunatic.
Alright. Now we begin again.
And that was it. I was ready to start new. Repent and restart.
I read Psalm 13 and realized I had been so intent on skipping to the end. That wasn’t was David did. He didn’t start out with ‘God is great; God is good; Now we thank him for our food.’ That’s not how the Psalms work… I mean sometimes…not about food, but you know what I mean.
He begins:

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

David is not stuffing the emotion or putting on a happy face. He’s not avoiding confrontation with God because he knows God is right. Even though that is completely true, he still approaches the Father with his genuine feelings.

How long will this keep going on? How long until I can have a challenge at work again? How long will I have to keep waiting for an interview? Have you forgotten I’m down here?

He wrestles through his hurt and confusion.

How long will my enemy triumph over me?Look on me and answer, Lord my God.Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

I love his boldness. “Look on me and answer.”  There is tension there. There is a desire to be with God, a desire to know what He is doing. I love that we can come to God like this and he is gracious enough to allow it. He is gracious enough to put up with my screaming and cursing in my minivan like a crazy woman. And he is gracious enough to pick up my heart afterward.

David does not get an answer. He arrives to a good place, but he does not necessarily get a divine reply.

But I trust in your unfailing love;    my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.

“I trust your love,” “He has been good to me.” That’s what I came to at the end of my one-sided screaming match with God. I trust you; you’ve been good to me. This is hard, but you know best.

I don’t think I would really have gotten there if I had continued to live like I was at the end of the Psalm. You can’t fake-it-till-you-make-it with God. He knows what is in the heart and he wants to wade through that with you.

I am so thankful for his grace and his desire to be in relationship with me. So we move forward. Repent and restart.

6 thoughts on “Living at the end of Psalm 13

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